Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dave Sim's blogandmail #415 (October 31st, 2007)


Fifteen Impossible Things to Believe Before Breakfast That Make You a Good Feminist

1. A mother who works a full-time job and delegates to strangers the raising of her children eight hours a day, five days a week does just as good a job as a mother who hand-rears her children full time.

2. It makes great sense for the government to pay 10 to 15,000 dollars a year to fund a daycare space for a child so its mother - who pays perhaps 2,000 dollars in taxes - can be a contributing member of society.

3. A woman's doctor has more of a valid claim to participate in the decision to abort a fetus than does the father of that fetus.

4. So long as a woman makes a decision after consulting with her doctor, she is incapable of making an unethical choice.

5. A car with two steering wheels, two gas pedals and two brakes drives more efficiently than a car with one steering wheel, one gas pedal and one brake which is why marriage should always be an equal partnership.

6. It is absolutely necessary for women to be allowed to join or participate fully in any gathering place for men, just as it is absolutely necessary that there be women only environments from which men are excluded.

7. Because it involves taking jobs away from men and giving them to women, affirmative action makes for a fairer and more just society.

8. It is important to have lower physical standards for women firepersons and women policepersons so that, one day, half of all firepersons and policepersons will be women, thus more effectively protecting the safety of the public.

9. Affirmative action at colleges and universities needs to be maintained now that more women than men are being enrolled, in order to keep from giving men an unfair advantage academically.

10. Having ensured that there is no environment for men where women don't belong (see no.6) it is important to have zero tolerance of any expression or action which any woman might regard as sexist to ensure greater freedom for everyone.

11. Only in a society which maintains a level of 95% of alimony and child support being paid by men to women can men and women be considered as equals.

12. An airline stewardess who earned $20,000 a year at the time that she married a baseball player earning $6 million a year is entitled, in the event of a divorce, to $3 million for each year of the marriage and probably more.

13. A man's opinions on how to rear and/or raise a child are invalid because he is not the child's mother. However, his financial obligation is greater because no woman gets pregnant by herself.

14. Disagreeing with any of these statements makes you anti-woman and/or a misogynist.

15. Legislature Seats must be allocated to women and women must be allowed to bypass the democratic winnowing process in order to guarantee female representation and, thereby, make democracy fairer.


The Mysterious Mr. D continues:

"In fact, it's funny that I'm writing you now under the guise of the free-Sandman issue. I'm not too into the internet and only recently found your blog (and Neil's for that matter – no offense, because you and Neil are just about the only people I'd be interested enough to know about that I would actually read your f—kin' diary – but I think the entire concept of `blogs' is abhorrent and clearly an indication of what kind of silly and miserable little world us modern folks are making). A while ago I think I found out that you were selling art on-line and that really surprised me. Now I've tried to go to eBay a couple of times (another scandalous invention – it takes all the fun out of visiting obscure comic, record and book stores in random cities looking for cool, weird s—t. Nothing will ever equal finding a beat-up poster of the Countess and Cerebus reading together in a 50-cent box in Walla Walla, Wa., or a whole run of SWORDS (minus the BWS #5) for cover price in Berkeley to get a preliminary sketch from issue 300 but I guess I always miss the correct time. I'm one of the only people I know who doesn't use little boxes on computers to remind them to visit their favourite websites every day and see what stolen music is available or how much something I don't need could be on a world-wide auction."

See, to me eBay is a good example of God's inherent open-mindedness when it comes to free will. It's really the best example of why capitalism is nothing to be afraid of, because it basically expands the pool of capitalists to include just about everyone. You can go to a pawnshop or you can try your luck on eBay. A lot of people who have been raised as Marxist-feminists over the last forty years are finding out that very lesson and a lot of them are either making part-time buying-and-selling part of their professional lives or are moving over into it completely when they find that they have the aptitude. That's a giant leap forward for capitalism and one for which I don't think we're going to see the full effects for a long time to come. It also means that storefronts have to learn to compete with people who have virtually no overhead which means a lot of brick and mortar capitalists are having to take a more realistic look at what constitutes a reasonable profit margin.

The "stolen music" thing, I think, is just a result of the uber capitalists at the record companies getting too greedy for words when CDs came along, pricing them higher than they priced records even though it's dramatically cheaper to produce a CD. You can't hide that information forever. What does the hunk of plastic cost? 20 cents? What does the jewel case cost? 30 cents? What does the illustrated insert cost? 5 cents? And you charge 20 bucks for it. Had they dropped the price of an album on CD to, say, $8 – which would still be an enormous profit margin – I think they would have seen sales going up and far fewer people would even have considered ripping off the record companies.

"As I meant to say, it's funny to write you now (today) because I think I'm only doing it because I have a decent sense that you're going to read this letter. I wrote you sometime in 1999 or 2000 essentially saying much the same stuff, thanking you for your lifetime of inspiration. I figured you were really busy and probably not really reading mail too often (with your publishing of the COLLECTED LETTERS books, I can see how wrong about that I was). But I wanted to tell you how great 6,000 pages of work is and how much it can mean to someone who begins to witness it at the age of 16 or 17 and follow through with it for the rest of his life – as I will certainly re-read CEREBUS over many more times than I have already.

"But even if I didn't, your effect on me would still last my entire life. Again, mostly because of the example you set. Intellectually, there are MANY, MANY ways in which you've influenced me. I wouldn't say that I agree with all of your world-view these days. But I hope you can still appreciate that you've helped me learn to think rationally, struggle to be creative, and attempt to look at the world in ways that go against the norm. Reading READS (and then passing it around to my 6-8 best friends in college, all of whom read and loved CEREBUS from 1-something around 200 when we left college and one guy even bought every phone book eventually) was monumental. I/we didn't "believe" in all of it but we talked about it…for years. For my part, I never intend to get married and want to live out my existence shining as a bright creative light. Are you the only person who has helped me to come to this conclusion? No. But you DID give me many of the best metaphors and stories with which to understand and appreciate the importance of artistic creativity. And, again, a lot of it has to do with the way you lived YOUR life and then presented it publicly in the back of your monthly comic. Your dialogue with Alan Moore had a huge effect on me as did your sense of politics, demagoguery, and what was `right and wrong' even as those things changed [for you] over time."

Well, much obliged. Personally I find it hard to believe that famous and "famous" people don't actually read their mail. I would assume that even Hollywood stars have an arrangement with their service that sends out the autographed photos to pass on anything that's interesting. I would guess that the only difference is that there's so much of it that answering it would constitute a full-time job so they just take it as a given that they don't do that. A lot of them work on a movie and then take months off or even years off so I think that gives them a different perspective on work. Life becomes at least 50% fun and games and 50% work and if you can get the 50% work down to, say, 15% so much the better. And even then, their "work day" consists of lounging around in a trailer larger and better appointed than the average person's apartment watching videos or listening to tunes or reading a book until their scene is ready to be shot. Then they do the scene two or three times with the cameras rolling and it's back to the trailer until they're needed again.

When Don Murphy invited me to the set of SHOOT `EM UP in Toronto, we were sitting and talking and he gave me a tour of the facility while they were setting up a scene. Somebody phoned Clive Owen in his trailer and he strolled in nodding to everyone "hello" "hi" "how are you?" Don quietly snuck me up to where they were shooting the scene and I watched it. CUT! Out wanders Clive Owen. "Nice to see you" "thanks" "bye for now". Maybe twenty minutes had elapsed. Nice work if you can get it, I suppose.

Me, it's twelve hours a day six days a week. I think of myself as clever for finding this way to answer the mail AND do promotion at the same time. I'm still having trouble getting it coordinated. I go to TCAF and think "It would have been nice of me to talk this up a little more on this week's Blog & Mail." I'm usually just typing so fast that I don't even noticed where I "am". Let me think.

Oh, right. This will be the first week in November, so I really should be mentioning the opening of the comics "LitGraf" exhibit November 10 at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. As a special bonus offer for all Yahoos (both the ones who have been "outed" and the ones who are still in the Yahoo closet lurking), Martin Mahoney, who is my contact at the Museum has generously offered to conduct a pre-opening tour on November 9 at 2 pm. That's right – after the press preview tour and the day before they let the general public in. All you have to do is send him an e-mail at (add the line "LitGraf Tour" to the subject line) and you're "in".

As you can see from the Blog & Mail, I don't get an overwhelming amount of mail. I answer pretty much all of it right here, so it's not as if I don't notice when someone goes out of their way to say something nice as you have.

Tomorrow: Finishing up with the Mysterious Mr. D


If you wish to contact Dave Sim, you can mail a letter (he does NOT receive emails) to:

Aardvark Vanaheim, Inc
P.O. Box 1674
Station C
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada N2G 4R2

Looking for a place to purchase Cerebus phonebooks? You can do so online through Win-Mill Productions -- producers of Following Cerebus. Convenient payment with PayPal:

Win-Mill Productions

Or, you can check out Mars Import:

Mars Import

Or ask your local retailer to order them for you through Diamond Comics distributors.